Posted In Stories

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump


A hop, a skip, and a jump. That was how it was described to me. Easy, straightforward, and above all nothing that should be worried about. Yet as life always proves, it was more complicated than that.

Indeed, it was not only a hop, a skip, and a jump but also a twist and a kick. And it needed to be in the order. Hop, skip, jump, twist, kick. Anything else would be crazy! Try hop, twist, skip, kick, jump and where do you end up? It's chaos!

But even beyond that, it was not just a hop, skip, jump, twist, and kick but a hop, skip, jump, twist, kick, pirouette, and a flip. Now it's really getting complicated! So I went back and said "You never told me this was a hop, skip, jump, twist, kick, pirouette and flip!" and they replied "I can't fill you in on every detail! It would overwhlem you!".

I stomped away frustrated. Why wouldn't I? It was a ridiculous answer.

Yet, the answer stuck in my head, like a small monk chanting rhythmically in the netherworlds of the mind. "Overwhlem, overwhlem, overwhelm" the chanting continued. It's meaning seeming important yet subtle at the same time. What did it mean?

I began thinking... It seemed like a hop, a skip, and a jump at first... However, when I got down to the details of it there was a lot more than I had expected... More depth, than I could have anticipated... So why was I angry?

It dawned on me, I was angry at myself. Angry for not understanding what is a simple facet of life, that once you get into the details there is a lot more depth than you would expect.

Yet, it is our ability to achieve this kind of depth in our lives and our thinking which makes us successful. So much so that we criticize the shallow people in our lives and wonder why they can't have more depth. Nonetheless, we run from depth as if it carried untold horrors with it.

Because, for one to achieve depth one must be vulnerable, and it's a scary thing to be vulnerable. Without that vulnerability there is simply the barrier between the individual and their surroundings. The barrier which keeps out new experience, the barrier which keeps out other people, and the barrier that ultimately surrounds us completely.

Though invisible and without form, this barrier possesses strength far in excess of the greatest visible barriers.

Like a room filled with mirrors, an individual begins to only see themselves reflected in their surroundings. Yet it feels like breaking these mirrors, these illusions of the mind, is tantamount to destroying one's own being.

Indeed, it is about more than a hop, skip, and a jump. It's about a complex set of moves whose number approaches the infinite. Life is simply more complicated than that, and our words fail completely when expressing this complexity.

Whether it is love, work, play, relaxation, victory, defeat, agony or any other human undertaking we find that we're left hopelessly underprepared and out-gunned. It's the nature of life, being swept and buoyed through a series of endless events. Our mind grasps to keep up, but the torrent continues unabated.

We can't hope to grasp life, there's simply too much going on. However, we can engage with it, become part of it as fully as possible. Achieve a little more depth, and move well beyond a hop, a skip, and a jump.

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